English Mastiff

The English Mastiff is a dog that involuntarily evokes a deep sense of respect. It is a large, powerful animal with deep historical roots and multiple rebirth. How did a wrestler with gladiators become a pet dog, a pet for a family and a protector of the weak?

English Mastiff


Historical roots of the breed

English, or unofficially Old English, a mastiff - a native of England, is the largest European dog and the largest representative of the mastiff.

Its origin has so deep roots that scientists are still wondering where did the name of the breed come from. According to one version, this is a somewhat distorted interpretation of the phrase, which in translation means “lord of thieves”. It is associated with the old order, when these dogs were chained in the daytime so that at night they would show more ferocity.

Another option - the mastiff comes from the word masty, which means "stylish", "quality." Such a concept most accurately reflects the essence of these animals. These are not all interpretations, but the most common.

A lot of questions remain about the origin of these dogs, but most likely, their ancestors are the Tibetan mastiff , originally inhabiting the mountains, and then spread to all the most ancient states - Assyria, Egypt, Persia, etc.

Archaeological excavations have confirmed that mastiff-like dogs existed in the 6th century BC. The same animals dressed in armor were used in battles by the great commander Alexander the Great. The dogs got to the territory of England thanks to the Celts, who settled here from Asia in the 3-4 centuries BC.

History of English Mastiff

In the photo English Mastiff

There is a mention of Caesar about the giant dogs of Britons, who participated with their owners in battles with Roman legionnaires. The Romans dubbed the dogs Mastiffs and began to release them into the arena to the gladiators.

At the beginning of the 5th century, Germanic tribes invaded England with their fighting dogs. For the most part, the natural assimilation of two species of animals led to the formation of a new type of dog - with a dark color and fierce character.

By the 11th century, mastiffs changed their appearance somewhat and, having left battles, began to be used in military affairs, for hunting big game and as supervisors for slaves. Mastiffs were very much appreciated at that time, because one such dog could replace two dozen hounds and greyhounds. That was the cost of these dogs. Naturally, mastiffs became available only to privileged classes, since their price was quite high, and in addition, their content was taxed.

In the 60s of the 11th century, the Normans who attacked the UK, imported Alans, a hunting mastiff from Europe, into the country. Again, there was a mixture of blood, which resulted in several types of mastiff. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Duke of York left notes in which mastiffs appeared as watchdogs.

What does a thoroughbred mastiff look like

What does the English Mastiff look like?

Breed of dogs English Mastiff photo

If you look at the exterior, then modern mastiffs are large, powerful, heavy animals, with strong bones. From them and blows power. The skin has a high elasticity, tight to the body. In the area of ​​the head, when strongly excited, the skin may form folds.

According to the requirements of the standard, mastiff males should have an average growth of 76 cm, females - about 70 cm, the weight of animals can vary from 80 to 86 kg.

The coat of the mastiffs is thick, hard, the hairs are short, but the undercoat is also thick, but softer. The coat color should be with the obligatory presence of a fawn - silver, dark tiger, apricot.

The generally accepted standard describes a purebred pet as follows:

  • The head of the mastiff is large, in the shape of a square, with pronounced muscles in the temporal part, as well as in the cheeks and crown. Cheekbones pronounced, but not protruding. When the pet is in a concentrated state, the skin on the forehead shrivels, and skin folds hang over the eyebrows, as it were, making the pet look harsh.
  • The tip of the nose of the mastiffs is large, slightly flattened, and has a black color.
  • Dogs of this breed have strong jaws , fleshy, thick, lips with black piping.
  • Ears have a wide and high landing, and are in a hanging position. They are rather thin, have black or dark color, medium length, rounded at the tips.
  • The eyes are round, with a dark iris, widely set. The look of the mastiffs is serious, attentive.
  • The teeth are round, bright white, the incisors of the mandible have a linear arrangement. The bite can be in the form of scissors, or straight. Standards allowed the location of the lower incisors in a checkerboard pattern.
  • The neck of the dog is strong, short, has distinct muscles and tight skin. In the throat area, the skin forms two folds.
  • The back of the English mastiff, loin and croup, wide, strong, with developed muscles.
  • The tail is crescent, with high landing, it is lowered downwards, during movement rises.
  • The chest is massive, of decent width and depth, the ribs are convex, rounded. The stomach is tucked up, the inguinal folds are matched.
  • The front legs have a wide and straight setting, strong bones and relief muscles. The hind legs are well developed, with a massive shin, slightly shortened and laid back. Pillows paws impressive, rounded, gathered in a ball. Claws in black mastiffs.

Dogs move freely, without fuss. A characteristic move is the trot, which during acceleration goes into a gallop.

The following conditions are considered to be rock defects:

  • Identity (cryptorchidism).
  • Color, not included in the standard list.
  • Aggressive behavior towards people.
  • The absence of dark pigment on the nose, eyelids, lips.
  • The lack of a mask on the face.
  • Erect ears.
  • Eyes of different colors, as well as blue.
  • Abnormal bite - if the tongue or teeth are visible from the closed mouth.
  • One-sided rearrangement of the paws while walking (amble).
  • Males below 74 cm at the withers, for females, the lower limit is 68 cm.

What is the character of an English mastiff?

Naturally, each dog has its own, unique character, however, there are common features that apply, if not to all pets of this breed, to most of them.

Considering the mastiffs at the dawn of the birth of the breed, one can guess that they were ferocious dogs, characterized by an evil temper. Such dogs ruthlessly tore the gladiators to pieces, fearlessly fought with the largest predators.

English Mastiff Character

But the long years of evolution completely changed the evil temper of the dogs of this breed. If by size the mastiffs became even larger and larger, the emotional state became, on the contrary, more stable and calm. The work of breeders was crowned with success, and today the English Mastiff is an excellent pet.

As soon as the dog got rid of the hot rush, it became noticeably calmer and more restrained. Her patience can be envied by many, because the mastiff is an example of calm and confidence. To the dog to panic, you need to very, very try. These dogs do not have the habit of barking for no reason, do not show great joy, jumping on the newly coming people.

Despite the whole formidable look and seeming independence, it is almost impossible for such a dog to survive on the street. Over the long years of home life, mastiffs have become accustomed to the comfort and warmth of a human dwelling and have fully adapted to living together with a person. They are not prone to squabbles and disputes, and if they do not like something, then the pets prefer to retire proudly.

English mastiffs have not lost their courage over time. They are able to protect both themselves and their masters. But there must be good reasons for this. These pets like to be calm, lie down, sleep. Their movements are slow, but this does not prevent them from being active.

The dog knows the boundaries of its territory and always keeps everything under control, even during sleep. Even just waking up, he can quickly assess the situation and react properly.

In many ways, the behavior of the animal depends on its timely socialization. If, as a puppy, he successfully passed socialization, then in adulthood he is not just a pet, but a full-fledged family member, loving kindness and affection.

He can sacrifice himself for the sake of any family member, in addition, he will be just happy to accompany the owners on trips or on vacation. To remain one mastiff very and very much does not like.

Mastiff character

The English Mastiff can act as a caring nurse, but it is still not recommended to let him go to babies. This does not apply to possible aggression, but is associated only with the large size of the pet. Playing with such a big friend for a baby may not end very well.

This huge dog loves to play with older children, showing amazing caution. Moreover, if you play catch-up, then there is no chance to escape from the mastiff. Despite the awkwardness, these dogs can develop at unprecedented speed.

Under the protection and care of dogs, all other pets living in the house also fall. Even cats, and especially kittens, will be guarded with the same zeal as the owners themselves. Only another male can cause a male mastiff to conflict, in which case the natural instinct of domination appears.

On the walking they behave calmly, and even without a leash they will nobly march alongside. During a walk on the street, this pet will show all its self-control and will not rush for a street animal, be it a dog or a cat.

For what these big dogs are not adapted is a sport, to do something quickly and very quickly for phlegmatic mastiffs is unnatural. Mastiffs are great for home maintenance and even love this comfort.

How to care and maintain a pet mastiff

Because of the short coat, mastiffs cannot live on the street, they are recommended to be kept indoors, be it an apartment or your house. It is also necessary to take into account during walks - in the harsh winter you need to take care of special clothes for dogs.

The mastiff must have its own place to sleep and rest. Sofas, beds and other furniture should be taboo from an early age pet.

How to care for English Mastiff

Such a huge dog requires special nutrition enriched with calcium. Be sure to include in the diet of dairy products. Up to three months it is forbidden to feed the puppy with dry food.

Mastiffs must be vaccinated regularly, and it should be done on time. The dog needs a walk, although by his bored look you can’t say it. Yet the pet must receive the necessary physical activity.

Wool from a mastiff does not require special care on the part of the owners, it is usually sufficient to treat it with a special brush once a week, and only more often during the molting period.

Read more about proper dog care .

Photos of English Mastiff

Handsome english mastiffEnglish Mastiff on the meadowEnglish Mastiff in the woodsEnglish Mastiff in winterBeautiful English MastiffEnglish Mastiff with a host

Mastiff Video

English Mastiff Price

It will not be difficult to get an English Mastiff as a pet — the breed is fairly widespread, there are a large number of nurseries in the Russian Federation, and it also sells hands. Of course, on the periphery with this, certain difficulties may arise, but still they are solvable.

A puppy without pedigree can be bought for a modest price of 5,000-8,000 rubles, a dog with a pedigree will cost much more, the cost here starts from 30,000.

A puppy from titled parents will cost at least 60,000 rubles and this is only the initial price. What puppy to buy, and how much to pay for it, the owner decides. The price is not so important, it is important that you get a sincere and devoted friend.

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